The city is planning for a time when 53,000 people could be taking to the roads and trails of Fort Saskatchewan.
The city presented its Transportation Master Plan (TMP) at an information night on Apr.4. The plan outlines improvements to transportation infrastructure that will help the city adapt to projected population increases over the next 30 years.
“The project started in 2016 with an online survey to ask residents what areas of concern they had transportation wise under different categories,” said director of project management Grant Schaffer.
In designing the TMP the city also used a 2015 study that predicts a local population of 35,000 in 10 years and 53,000 in 30 years.
“We used that growth study to populate the city going forward and then run traffic models to determine what impacts that growth would have to the network and what we would have to do going forward,” Schaffer said.
Veterans Way is one road that will see some changes under the new plan. A key finding of the TMP is that the Veterans Way corridor on Highways 21 and 15 will need widening from four lanes to six before the 35,000 population is reached. As the population grows to 53,000, the corridor will need a two-lane high-speed industrial bypass to provide access to growth areas. Improvements to pedestrian and bicycle crossings are also slated for Veterans Way.
Shaffer added another important feature of the TMP is a planned move to a safe system design approach. Safe system design aims to minimize fatality risk on the roads by by managing speeds.
“So one of the things is to design the road for the speed you want it to be, and to make sure that everything you're doing takes into account all the users of the road. So pedestrians, cyclists, transit, whatever other users are on the road, just to try to make it safe for everybody and comfortable for everybody,” said Schaffer.
The TMP also took a look at the city’s transit system. Areas up for further study include service frequency, a new park and ride, downtown service, partnering with ride share services and providing discounted bus passes.
The transportation plan has yet to be approved by city council. The detailed TMP document is available on the city’s website.